New Year's Eve protests held at City Hall, Mag Mile

CHICAGO (WLS) -- About 150 people staged a die-in at City Hall Thursday afternoon, the second New Year's Eve demonstration in Chicago.

Protesters continue the call for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign for their handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting.

Earlier at about 11 a.m., Fr. Michael Pfleger, of St. Sabina Church on the South Side, led a march along the Magnificent Mile to raise awareness about gun violence. Chicago had 454 people fatally shot in 2015, according to Chicago police statistics. Pfleger called on the city to break the cycle of violence in 2016.

"2015 has been a deadly year in Chicago," Pfleger said. "While you're reminiscing about all the great events of the year, don't forget about your tragedies of the year. The killing in the streets of Chicago."

Later Thursday at 6 p.m., a group called Black Rose will stage a "New Year's Eve Noise Demo" outside the Metropolitan Correctional Center in the Loop. The anarchist community group plans to noise outside the federal prison facility to express solidarity for the imprisoned.

Marchers on the Magnificent Mile on Christmas Eve.

Pfleger invited the families of victims to carry photos on the march down Michigan Avenue.

Among the family members was Velinda Simpson, whose son Ashton was fatally shot in September outside his home in Chicago's Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.

"All of a sudden, a series of gunshots erupted," Simpson said. "And we found out it was retaliation for another shot earlier in the day."

Pfleger was joined by Northern Illinois University students, who marched in the memory of Quintonio LeGrier, a 19-year-old NIU student who was shot by Chicago police Christmas weekend.

Police were called to LeGrier's father's home in West Garfield Park for a domestic disturbance early Saturday. His neighbor, Bettie Jones, 55, was accidentally fatally shot by police. Their deaths prompted Mayor Emanuel to return home from his Cuba vacation early.

Emanuel, Alvarez and the Chicago Police Department have been under fire since dashcam video was released last month showing a Chicago police officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald as he walked away.

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged in the 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald more than a year after the teenager's death, prompting protests and eventually the resignation of Garry McCarthy as Chicago's police superintendent.

The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the CPD's use of force as an embattled Emanuel announced reforms, including de-escalation training and Tasers for Chicago police officers.
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